Flat Feet

Tri-County Foot Care

Podiatrists & Foot & Ankle Surgeons located in Brighton, MI; Livonia, MI; Sterling Heights, MI; Troy, MI; Taylor, MI; and Trenton, MI

You may have been born with flat feet, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a lifetime of pain and discomfort. Board-certified podiatrists Lee K. Gold, DPM, and Ignazio D. Perna, DPM, are available to help you overcome flat feet, including through custom-made orthotics. They have six convenient office locations throughout southeastern Michigan, in Brighton, Livonia, Sterling Heights, Trenton, Taylor, and Troy. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone.

Flat Feet Q & A

What are flat feet?

Flat feet means an absence of a normal foot arch, so your entire foot touches the ground when you stand. This can result from:

  • Your arches not developing as they’re supposed to during early childhood
  • Your arches developing normally but collapsing in adulthood as the result of another condition, known as “fallen arches”

Flat feet may be rigid or flexible: 

  • Rigid: Flat feet never have visible arches
  • Flexible: Flat feet appear flat when you’re standing but appear to have an arch when you’re not putting any pressure on them 

Flexible flat feet are common among children. Usually, kids outgrow that form of the condition by age 8.

Not everyone experiences pain from flat feet or fallen arches. However, many people with flat feet develop problems in their feet and ankles, including plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, hammertoe, and shin splints. Similarly, people who have very high arches are also prone to foot pain and complications.

What causes flat feet?

Common causes of flat feet include:

  • Genetics, passed from parents to children
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, which can wear down the tendons in your feet
  • Injuries to the foot or ankle
  • Marfan syndrome, a genetic connective tissue disorder
  • Damage to the posterior tibial tendon, which connects your calf muscle to the bones inside your feet
  • Nervous system or muscle diseases

You’re more likely to develop flat feet in adulthood if you’re obese, have diabetes, or are pregnant, which can place additional stress on the tendons in your feet.

How are flat feet diagnosed and treated?

To diagnose flat feet, Dr. Gold or Dr. Perna asks about your symptoms, including foot pain and fatigue. He also examines your feet from the front and back, feels your hands and muscles, and may ask you to perform movements such as standing on your toes. Depending on your level of pain, they may also order an imaging test, which can detect arthritis or an injury to your tendons.

Treatment for flat feet involves managing pain and other symptoms, addressing any underlying conditions, and ensuring your feet have enough support.

The doctors can fit you for custom-made orthotics, or shoe inserts, which cushion and stabilize your feet. Orthotics are also effective in treating high arches.

To treat flat feet or high arches, schedule an appointment with Dr. Gold or Dr. Perna online or over the phone.